The Stellaris Shroudwalkers, or Shroud-Touched Coven as they’re often called, form a special sort of Enclave perfect for Pisonic empires! The trick is knowing where to find them and what they do. Thankfully that’s not too difficult. Especially not with the Overlord expansion, which coincided with the release of Patch 3.4 that introduced Shroudwalkers in the first place. Let’s take a look at the Shroud, its teachers, the Origin you need to worry about most, and more in our Stellaris Shroud-Touched Coven guide!
How to Find the Shroud-Touched Coven in Stellaris
The answer to this question is twofold. Shroudwalkers are Psionic NPCs that fill the “Shroud-Touched Coven.” The coven is, in turn, a specific Enclave. These are unique factions that don’t conquer territory or make policies. Yet they do exist in regular space, just like any other non-player faction. Each Enclave takes up one or more starbases that spawn somewhere in the galaxy. The exact location is usually random. You need to simply explore — preferably with Science Ships that survey new systems along the way. A good rule of thumb in Stellaris is to build an extra Science Ship or three early, in order to map the galaxy and figure out where you want to settle. The more ships you have, the better the odds of finding the Shroud-Touched Coven quickly.
You can also just start with the Shroudwalkers in your corner. Literally! The Stellaris: Overlord DLC (which adds this Enclave in the first place) also includes a powerful new Origin called “Teachers of the Shroud.” This doesn’t just instantly put you in contact with the Shroud-Touched Coven right at the start of the game; it also gives you the Latent Psionics Trait for free as part of your starting background. This provides a bunch of useful passive buffs — notably a +5% bonus to various types of resource gathering. It also makes some of your citizens into true Telepaths later down the line, which provides some tasty benefits when and if it occurs.
What Does the Shroud-Touched Coven Do in Stellaris?
Once you find the Shroudwalkers, you can interact with them the same way you would any Enclave: from the Contacts menu. They appear under this section just like any “real” faction. The difference is that your usual Diplomacy options don’t apply. Instead, Enclaves present you with a variety of dialogue choices. Each one comes with a cost but provides some kind of unique benefit or affect. Unlike the unique mercenary factions, they can’t be swayed to work with you more directly as a patron. However, requesting their services will gradually raise their opinion of you. Higher opinion then unlocks more dialogue options.
Here’s a simple breakdown of the Shroud-Touched Coven options:
“What is to be our fate?”
“Would you be able and willing to send us a teacher?”
“Can you give us insight on another empire?”
“Tell us about travel via the Shroud.”
Divining your “fate” via the Shroud doesn’t actually tell your future in the way that implies. Instead, this generates a random event or anomaly for you to contend with — which can be a hindrance, provide you unique opportunities, or both. The Shroudwalker Teacher, meanwhile, provides a buff for one of your planets that generates extra Amenities and Unity. Even more-so if you have any Telepaths. That makes the Teachers of the Shroud Origin even more valuable when selecting this option since it provides early psychic characters.
Next, the “insight on another empire” choice functions a bit like having your fate read; it generates a semi-random positive effect for your empire. This is most important for Espionage work. The insight will either be a random type of asset for your Espionage work with that empire, +15 Infiltration levels, or +20 Intel. There’s also a tiny chance that you’ll receive nothing at all. That’s just the risk you take for relying on the Shroud it seems.
Speaking of which: the option to travel through the Shroud allows you to build one (and only one) Shroud Beacon inside a starbase. This functions a bit like a wormhole. It will take any ship directly from the Shroud Beacon to the Shroud-Touched Coven. This can be very useful for sneaking around or slipping past closed borders. It can also be basically worthless, depending on where you place the Shroud Beacon and where the Shroudwalkers happen to spawn. All-in-all, this entire Enclave is a bit of a gamble whenever you interact with them.
How to Use a Shroudwalker Teacher in Stellaris
Requesting a Shroudwalker Teacher is the one guaranteed benefit you can enjoy via this Enclave. The option basically purchases the aforementioned NPC as an upgrade for one of your planets. Just go to any planet you control and select “Decisions.” If you purchased a Shroudwalker Teacher, they will be available under the usual list.
Their initial cost is paid the second you buy their services from the Shroud-Touched Coven. That makes it free to deploy them from the Decisions tab! Though it still takes a while for the Decision to take effect. It has a “Time to Enact” of 360 by default — as you can see in the image above. There’s also a potential bit of randomness in the form of your total Telepaths. The Latent Psionics Trait, if you decide to go with the Teachers of the Shroud Origin, don’t actually begin with any true Telepaths. You’re just extremely likely to get one or two very quickly — with more showing up as you progress through the game.
The more Telepaths and Unity-generating Jobs you possess, the better the return on your investment. But even the +5% Amenities all on its lonesome isn’t bad by any stretch. This is definitely a good use of the Shroud-Touched Coven if you’re determined to make use of the fortunetellers.
And that’s really all there is to the Shroudwalkers and the Shroud-Touched Coven Enclave in Stellaris! Best of luck with those psionic powers (latent or otherwise).